203884 Evaluating School Health Education Programs: Developing A Base of Evidence

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 11:30 AM

Joseph Donnelly, PhD , Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences, Montclair State University, Montclair, NM
George Denny, PhD , University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
Michael Young, PhD , College of Health & Social Services, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
The purpose of this presentation is to: (1) identify potential problems and challenges in the evaluation of school health education programs, (2) suggest ways to successfully solve problems and meet challenges, (3) provide guidance in translating evaluations into peer-reviewed journal articles. Much money is spent to develop and implement programs designed to help young people learn about health and to encourage them to adopt healthy life-styles. Many programs are offered as part of school-based health education. What is the actual impact of such programming? There is much talk of “evidence-based programming,” but how is that “evidence” developed? Most programs do not undergo formal evaluation. Many evaluations that are conducted do not employ a rigorous evaluation design; one which would allow an evaluator to attribute change (or lack of change) in student variables to the program that was implemented. When a program is rigorously evaluated, it may or may not show positive results. The results may or may not be published. If a broad base of evidence is to be established documenting the effectiveness of health education programming, then programs must be rigorously evaluated and results published in peer-reviewed journals. In this presentation, the following topics will be addressed: (1) Before program implementation – selection/development of the intervention, selection of evaluators, evaluation design issues, recruitment of participants, staff training, parental consent, incentives, instrumentation; (2) During the program – implementation and fidelity issues, retention issues, data collection; (3) After the program – analyzing data/interpreting results, presenting results, developing and submitting the manuscript.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to explain the importance of conducting rigorous evaluations of school-based health education programs.

Keywords: Evaluation, School Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a Ph.D. in Health Education, have presented numerous papers, have authored/co-authored a number of articles in scholarly journals and work in the topic (evaluation) of the proposed paper.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.